Daily Deals: $40 Sony DualShock 4 controller, $144 smart thermostat, and more

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iDB’s Daily Deals post is a roundup of our favorite deals on tech and tech-related products from around the web. This includes everything from smartphones, tablets and accessories, to connected devices and even video games.

Every deal you see below has been hand-picked based on a variety of factors including personal experience, online reviews from customers and experts, and discount percentage. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!

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Smart thermostat Ecobee banks $61M Series C growth capital

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Home automation company Ecobee and the maker of Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat raised a $ 61M Series C round led by Energy Impact Partners. Other investors include Amazon Alexa Fund, Relay Ventures, and Thomvest. Ecobee so far has $ 112M in equity funding since it launched in 2007.

ecobee4

Amazon Alexa Fund, a $ 200M venture fund to fuel voice technology innovation is the repeat investor in Ecobee. The fund also participated in Ecobee’s Series B round of $ 35M in Aug 2016.

Ecobee4, company’s fourth generation smart thermostat features voice-activated control through the Amazon Alexa and comes with room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots.

Adjust temperature and comfort settings easily from the ecobee mobile app on your Android and iOS devices.

A recent study by NPD group states that Ecobee has captured one-third of the smart thermostat market, reports Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media. This tells about the company’s ability to raise multi-million rounds of investment.

However, the investments also reflect the feud between Google and Amazon as the former owns Nest, maker of thermostats, indoor and outdoor security cameras, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, security system, video doorbell and more.

A third and more established competitor is Honeywell, a $ 100B global conglomerate with business interests in aerospace, building materials, engineering services, and home and building technologies. The competition is expected to intensify as Statista Research predicts 33M U.S homes will have a smart thermostat by 2020, compared to 12M in 2017.

It might be that the competition for ‘smart home’ space is more between Google, Amazon, and Honeywell rather than Nest and Ecobee. Amazon recently acquired smart video doorbell company Ring for $ 1B. Nonetheless, Ecobee’s voice-enabled feature integration with Amazon Alexa may provide superior user experience to customers as more and more people adopt voice computing.


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[Deal Alert] Amazon discounts Nest Cam to $118 ($81 off), Cam Outdoor to $125 ($74 off), and Thermostat to $169 ($80 off)

Most of Nest’s smart home devices went on sale for Black Friday, but today Amazon is making several Nest products even cheaper. The Nest Cam is down to a mere $ 117.99, the Cam Outdoor drops to $ 124.99, and the 3rd gen Thermostat is $ 169.

Last week, this camera was selling for $ 139 and the Cam Outdoor for $ 149 at most retailers. The Nest indoor cam was already $ 60 off the retail price, but now it’s $ 117.99.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon discounts Nest Cam to $ 118 ($ 81 off), Cam Outdoor to $ 125 ($ 74 off), and Thermostat to $ 169 ($ 80 off) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google adds Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor to the Google Store

When Google recently decided to sell only company-made hardware in the Google Store, Nest products were kept in stock. That’s not exactly a surprise, given that it’s a subsidiary of Alphabet, just like Google. Now the lineup of Nest security cameras, thermostats, and other smart home security accessories sold in the Google Store is expanding.

The Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor have been added to the Google Store – with varying availability, of course:

The Nest Cam IQ outdoor is the only one of the four newly added Nest products that has a live “Buy” link.

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Google adds Nest Thermostat E, Secure Alarm System, Connect, and Cam IQ outdoor to the Google Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Deal Alert] Ecobee4 smart thermostat on sale for $199.99 ($50 off)

One of the easiest ways to add some smarts to your home is to replace your standard thermostat with a fancy new one from a company like Ecobee or Nest. These devices can be pretty spendy, but the Ecobee4 is on sale at various retailers today for $ 199.99. That’s $ 50 less than the standard price.

The Ecobee looks like a small black squircle on your wall. It operates like a regular thermostat if you want to walk up to it and press buttons, but there’s also an app that lets you control the Ecobee from anyplace.

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[Deal Alert] Ecobee4 smart thermostat on sale for $ 199.99 ($ 50 off) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Ecobee smart thermostat gets Assistant integration

Getting up to change the temperature on your thermostat is an arduous and unpleasant task, but smart thermostats have freed us from this drudgery. Okay… but now you have to open an app and tap stuff to change the thermostat? That still seems like a lot of work, right? Google Assistant offers the ultimate in convenience (until such time as we have brain-thermostat interfaces), but not all smart thermostats support it.

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Ecobee smart thermostat gets Assistant integration was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Nest Thermostat E review: It’s kind of silly not to buy one

Before Nest made cameras, home security systems, or smoke detectors, there was the Nest Thermostat. There wasn’t anything like the OG Nest when it launched back in 2011, but the market for smart thermostats has heated up since then. Nest (now an Alphabet company along with Google) has continued iterating the thermostat, which remains its most iconic product. All three generations of the Nest Thermostat have a similar vibe—they look like pieces of technology attached to your wall.

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Nest Thermostat E review: It’s kind of silly not to buy one was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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MIT’s Embr Labs brings personal thermostat to market

embr labs embr wave wearable

Embr Labs, an MIT start-up, has launched a wrist-worn personal thermostat to help keep its wearer cool under pressure and  warm when they need it. 

At its core, wearable technology is about empowering the individual. With a smart device on your wrist or built into your clothing, you can gather data on performance, monitor physiology and track progress towards a particular goal. But while most wearables take a passive approach towards improving our lives, a start-up out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is developing a technology that makes an impact in the moment.

Overheating when flustered or shivering in the cold are experiences that every person has had at one point or another. Embr Labs has launched a wearable that could offer the solution when temperature becomes an issue: a personal thermostat worn on the wrist to provide warming or cooling on demand.

Read more: Samsung debuts wearable tech for health and safety

Localizing temperature changes

The Embr Wave wristband has a flat aluminum top with a colored display that symbolizes the heat spectrum. Users simply adjust it from blue to red to feel the desired effect. A thermoelectric tile inside the wristband is in contact with the skin and changes temperature when exposed to an electrical current.

Studies suggest that localized heat can trigger the body’s natural response to temperature changes, meaning users can get the benefits of turning the heating up or down on a regular thermostat through a wearable that’s worn on the wrist – one of the most thermally sensitive parts of the body.

Read more: MIT start-up mPath reads consumer emotions and impulses

The bigger picture

The stated aim of Embr Labs is to make people more comfortable. But that ambition comes with benefits that go beyond the individual. The Embr Labs team believes that its device could help to save energy in buildings.

Research carried out in the Center for the Built Environment at the University of California suggests that extending a building’s thermostat neutral zone — the temperature range before air conditioning or heating kicks on — by just 1 degree can reduce energy consumption by up to 10 percent. Extending the neutral zone by 2 degrees can reduce consumption by up to 20 percent.

The ambition is to perfect the wristband to the point whereby users are comfortable despite that neutral zone being extended.

Read more: Harlequins expands use of wearables to improve player performance

Exploring human-temperature interaction

Although it’s being marketed as a kind of ‘personal thermostat’, the Embr Wave actually works more like a shower. Instead of selecting an exact temperature, users are able to feel a continuous benefit as heat sensations are delivered in rhythmic waves.

“We had to go from power electronics and mechanical engineering to physiology and psychology, in order to build a framework of dynamic heat rhythms that would pack as much temperature relief as possible in a sleek wristband,” said Embr Labs co-founder Cohen-Tanugi. “It was a whole new technological challenge.”

Beyond saving on energy bills, the Embr Labs team anticipates that its technology could be used in the world of entertainment. There are obvious virtual reality applications, for example. “Without getting into too much detail,” says co-founder Sam Shames, “we’re exploring the rich space of human-temperature interaction.”

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